Fried Ice Cream is an unexpected, irresistibly good dessert. This version is churro-flavored with a a hot, cinnamon-sugar fried cookie coating over frozen vanilla ice cream!
This first time I ever had Fried Ice Cream was at a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco as a child with my grandparents. It was love at first bite!
There is nothing more magical than biting into a hot, sweet, doughy ball to find frozen ice cream inside!
Well, there is something better: making it yourself and Churro Fried Ice Cream!
What is Fried Ice Cream?
It sounds like a contradiction in terms but it’s not: ‘fried’ ‘ice cream’.
Ice cream is dipped in batter and fried, creating a hot-on-the-outside frozen-on-the-inside dessert that’s like none other.
Making fried ice cream at home it is not a difficult process but takes some time.
The ice cream must be fully frozen and frozen with a coating.
Each step is simple but there is freezing time in between to turn the coated ice cream balls into the irresistible dessert!
Ingredients in Churro Fried Ice Cream
The ingredients for making fried ice cream are simple: ice cream, a coating and oil to fry it in.
There are many variations of the ice cream flavors and the coating that can be used.
The recipe today is for Churro Fried Ice Cream which has a wonderful cinnamon cookie crust.
Here are the ingredients:
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Snickerdoodle Cookie crumbs (from homemade or store purchased snickerdoodles)
- Cornflakes crumbs
- Granulated Sugar
- ground Cinnamon
- Sunflower oil
- Chocolate Syrup
- Whipped Cream
Why Use Sunflower Oil?
Sunflower oil is neutral in flavor so it will not flavor the fried ice cream.
It also has a high ‘smoke point’ which means it can be heated to higher temperatures without smoking making it a great choice for deep frying.
Making Cookie Crumbs
This recipe calls for both cookie crumbs and cornflakes crumbs. You’ll easily make these yourself.
If you have not make them before, you’ll undobutedly find other ways to use the technique for other recipes in the future!
Making the crumbs is easy:
- Place the cookies (homemade or store purchased) in a mini chopper (my preferred method), food processor or blender.
- Pulse to grind the cookies into crumbs.
The same technique is used to turn the cereal into crumbs.
Is Fried Ice Cream Gluten-Free?
This recipe may be made gluten-free if gluten-free cookie crumbs and cornflakes are used.
The fried ice cream in the photos is gluten-free!
Supplies for Making Fried Ice Cream
Supplies for making fried ice cream are probably already in your kitchen!
The only tool you may not have and is probably the most helpful utensil is a frying strainer.
A frying strainer is a slotted ladle designed for frying temperatures (link below) and to allow fried foods to easily drain over the pot.
The spoon portion is at an angle making it easy to drop the ice cream into the oil and lift it out.
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- ½ cup measuring cup
- Blender or mini chopper (for making cookie and cereal crumbs)
- Large heavy pot or Dutch oven for frying
- Candy thermometer
- Heatproof slotted spoon or frying strainer
Cooking Notes on Making Fried Ice Cream
- Making fried ice cream takes a bit of time to ensure the coating properly freezes before frying.
- The coating process takes only minutes and waiting through the freezing time is important to ensure a great end result.
- The ice cream balls are coated and fried individually to discourage melting.
- The volume of crumbs and number of eggs called for allows some surplus, which makes coating the ice cream balls quicker and easier to do.
- The recipe can be increased to make a larger batch of fried ice cream balls by multiplying the ingredient proportions.
How to Make Fried Ice Cream
Refer to the recipe card below for specific instructions.
- The fried ice cream goes through four freezing cycles before it is fried:
- Freezing the ice cream balls (2-3 hours or overnight)
- After rolling frozen ice cream balls in the cookie crumbs (30 minutes)
- After rolling the ice cream in an egg and more cookie crumbs (1 hour)
- After rolling in eggs and cornflakes (30 minutes or until hard)
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and spread onto a salad plate.
- Fill a heavy pot with 4 inches of oil. Position a candy thermometer on the side of the pot and heat the oil to 375 degrees.
- Using a heatproof slotted spoon gently lower one ice cream ball into the heated oil. Fry for 20 seconds spooning the oil over the ice cream ball as it fries.
- Remove the fried ice cream and place immediately into the cinnamon sugar using the spoon to roll and coat it fully (it will be HOT; don’t touch with your hands).
- Gently lift and shake off any excess cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately on a plate or bowl with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
- Repeat for remaining ice cream balls.
Time Saving Tips
The biggest opportunity to save time is during making and freezing the ice cream balls for fried ice cream.
- Make the initial ice cream balls the night before planning to fry them and do the three coating and freezing steps the day of frying them.
- Prepare and coat the ice cream balls the day before frying them. Seal well in the freezer so the coating doesn’t get soggy with any moisture.
Make Ahead Option
I pre-freeze ice cream balls for ice cream floats. Doing this allows them to stay frozen longer in the float.
The ice cream balls, uncoated, for this recipe could also be frozen without the coating.
Cover, seal well, and keep in the freezer for a few days before coating and frying.
Recipe Serving Size
This recipe makes 4 1/2-cup fried ice cream balls.
Increase (or decreased) the recipe servings by keeping the proportions of the ingredients the same.
More Dessert Recipes You’ll Love
- Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue
- Cinnamon-Sugar Gluten Free Churros
- Brown Butter Rice Cereal Treats
- Snickerdoodle Salted Caramel Ice Box Cake
Have you made this Churro Fried Ice Cream recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
Churro Fried Ice Cream
- 2 cups Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (I used Blue Bell Vanilla Bean)
- 1 1/2 cups Snickerdoodle Cookie crumbs* , homemade or store purchased cookies may be used (I used Udi's Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles)
- 3/4 cups Cornflakes crumbs* (gluten-free or regular)
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- Sunflower oil (selected due to no taste and high heat tolerance)
Making, Coating and Freezing the Ice Cream:
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
- Scoop ice cream into 1/2 cup balls. Mold with hands. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until hard; 2-3 hours, or overnight.
- Place the cookie crumbs in a small mixing bowl. Roll each ice cream ball, one at a time (leaving others in the freezer) applying slight pressure to fully coat with the crumbs (NOTE: it will not coat densely).
- Return the coated ice cream balls to the freezer pan and allow to freeze for 30 minutes.
- Gently beat two of the eggs in a medium size bowl.
- One by one, roll an ice cream ball in the eggs to fully coat, and then in the cookie crumbs to fully coat.
- Return the coated ice cream ball to the freezer pan and repeat for the remaining 3 ice cream balls individually; returning each to the freezer immediately after coating. Allow to freeze for 1 hour or until hard.
- Gently beat the two remaining eggs in a medium size bowl. Place the cereal crumbs in a separate medium bowl.
- One by one, dip the ice cream balls in the eggs to fully coat followed by the cereal crumbs to fully coat.
- Return the coated ice cream balls to the freezer pan and freeze for 30 minutes or until completely hard.
Frying the Ice Cream Balls:
- Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl; mix to fully blend and spread on a salad plate. Set aside.
- Fill a medium pot with four inches of oil (or enough to cover the ice cream ball when frying).
- Position a candy thermometer on the side of the pot to monitor the heat. Heat the oil to 375 degrees.
- Set serving plates or bowls near the stove for quick plating. Ice cream balls will be fried one by one then immediately plated and served.
- Using a heatproof slotted spoon, gently lower an ice cream ball into the heated oil. Fry for 20 seconds, spooning the oil over the top of the ball. NOTE: careful to avoid the hot oil contacting your hands.
- Remove the fried ice cream with the slotted spoon and place on the plate with the cinnamon-sugar. The ice cream ball will be hot! Gently roll the ball using a spatula or sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar on the ice cream ball to cover all sides.
- Lift ice cream ball off the plate, gently shake off excess cinnamon-sugar and place on serving plate/bowl.
- Garnish with chocolate syrup and/or whipped cream and serve immediately.
- Repeat for remaining ice cream balls.
Originally published May 2, 2014; updated February 2019.